Protein Powders

Whey Protein Side Effects And How To Defeat Them

whey protein powder

While it’s true that whey protein has many benefits, these benefits might also come with a cost. Of course, the excess of everything is bad. So, what are some side effects of whey protein powder? Do they really cause severe problems?

It’s true that whey protein powder has its own side effects. However, most of them are usually linked to an individual’s sensitivity to some ingredients. 

So, let’s dive into the details of whey protein powder side effects and see if this protein will suit you in the long run.

Side effects of whey protein

While the benefits of whey protein powder are numerous, and people want to include it in their diet, it also has some drawbacks.

Let’s have a look at them.

1. Stomach issues

Did you start facing stomach issues after consuming whey protein?

Well, you might be lactose-intolerant, which means that your body cannot break down and digest the enzyme lactase, which is needed to digest milk and other products containing lactose.

Lactose-intolerant people cannot digest the milk properly, and as whey protein is mostly milk-based, your stomach might face difficulty digesting it.

For such individuals, whey protein concentrate can cause stomach issues because it has a higher quantity of lactose. As whey isolate is more refined, most of the lactose and fat is removed while processing it.

2. Gastrointestinal discomfort

The gastrointestinal discomfort caused by protein powder is also caused by lactose intolerance. 

Also, whey protein contains lactoferrin. While this compound can improve energy and contribute to the benefits of whey protein, it may cause gastrointestinal issues. However, this usually happens when you take whey more than the required daily intake. 

These problems can include:

  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Nausea

You might also experience other symptoms, depending on whether it suits you or not. If you experience any of these, it’s better to consult your doctor.

If you don’t know whether you’re lactose-intolerant, you can always find out.

3. Acne

Whey protein powder intake is also linked to acne.

Again, the culprit can be lactose intolerance. However, as whey protein is a source of high-quality protein, you can also blame this high protein content for causing acne.

4. Might be high in sugar and calories

Apart from lactose intolerance, the most common reason why whey protein powder causes problems is the lack of transparency. Most manufacturers tend to include fillers and additives in the protein powder, and these added sugars can take a toll on your health in the long run.

So, you need to check the ingredients of your protein powder. In this way, you’ll make sure you choose the right one.

5. Kidney problems

The fact that whey protein can cause kidney problems is a bit questionable. This may be due to the limited research.

If you’re already suffering from kidney problems, you need to consult your doctor before using whey protein.

However, if you have normally functioning kidneys, whey protein shouldn’t cause problems if you’re using it in the right amount. 

It is believed that whey protein puts stress on the kidneys; they need to work more, and it also raises the levels of urea. All of these problems can lead to kidney disease in the long run. That is why it’s necessary to monitor your whey protein intake.

6. Liver damage

It is a common perception that whey protein intake may lead to liver damage. 

According to a study, when used in an uninformed manner and without exercising, whey protein intake can have adverse effects on the liver.

Another perception is that some people tend to use whey protein as a meal replacement due to its satiating capability. However, using it in place of a meal may cause nutritional imbalance. During this process, fat is converted into energy, and it also creates ketones. These ketones can put stress on the liver.

7. Allergic reactions

If you are sensitive to the milk content in whey protein powder, you may also face allergic reactions. These include swelling, itching, etc. 

However, the intensity of these reactions is different in different people. If you experience allergic reactions after consuming whey protein, you should visit the doctor.

What should you do?

Here are some recommendations on what you can do to avoid these side effects.

1. Don’t have too much whey

Most of the time, the problems with whey protein are generally associated with its high intake.

People who consume too much whey will develop problems in the long run. Therefore, it’s necessary to consume the required amount of whey protein only.

You should also monitor your daily protein intake, both from supplements and natural foods.

2. Take breaks

Taking breaks from whey protein supplementation might help with preventing the adverse effects. You can also switch to natural protein sources like eggs and fish if supplements don’t suit you well.

3. Switch to whey isolate

Whey protein isolate is better than whey concentrate because it is more processed to remove the lactose and fat. In this way, whey isolate may be better to prevent stomach problems for lactose-intolerant people.

If you still face problems with whey, you can consider switching to plant-based protein powders.

4. Choose the right protein powder

As most protein powders contain fillers and additives, they can have a negative effect on your health. So, make sure you choose the best protein powder with the right ingredients.

Take-away message

While whey protein powder has its benefits, it also comes with drawbacks.

However, most of the side effects of whey protein powder are due to an individual’s own sensitivities and the use of additives and fillers in manufacturing. Also, the overdose of whey protein will lead to problems.

So, we can say that whey protein isn’t that bad if you’re not sensitive to it, but you should consume it in the right amounts.

Of course, the excess of everything is bad. 

So, get the right whey protein powder and gain those muscles!

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